Greetings from SW Florida

Hey all, first off wanted to say hello. This seems like a great kayaking community and an awesome place to get advice. My old man has an Epic Kayaks 18x Sport that he hasn’t been able to use for about 4 years (it’s been at his place on stands for this time). I live in SW Florida and I was considering getting into the Ocean Kayaking scene and he told me that I can just take it for myself since he never uses it anymore. The boat looks to be in good enough condition but I won’t be able to drive up to pick it up until around next week or so. I’ve kayak’d numerous times throughout my life but mostly in rivers and streams, never ocean.

Wanted to post here to see what things I should check for on a kayak that’s been out of the water and on stands for this long. Any worries that I should have about anything or should I just drop the baby into the water and if it floats, we’re good?

Also interested in maybe setting up a Falcon Sails rig on the thing but that’ll come after I try it out a few times. Anyways, looking forward to hearing your thoughts and participating in this community! If anyone knows some good spots down here in SW FL - Fort Myers, Bonita, Naples areas, I’d love to hear about them!

Here’s a pic of the boat (couldn’t add more since the site says I’m a new user).

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Not much you need to check. Time out of the water really doesn’t hurt much.

But, this is a bit of a specialty boat, so may not meet your needs. It is made as a speedy sea kayak. Made to go straight fast. It was designed for intermediate to advanced paddlers. If a beginner used it, it is very likely they would end up flipped over before long. Make sure you know how to get out of the skirt. Or better yet, don’t use a skirt.

Sails also change the balance. Can be done on this boat, but balancing and using is an advance skill.

Personally (YMMV), in a warm area like SW Florida, I would consider getting a sit on top instead of a touring kayak. It can get rather hot inside the cockpit in the sun. Something like the Hobie sailing sit on tops may meet your needs well.

Thanks for the reply! I definitely understand where you’re coming from. My main reason for even going with it is that I’m getting it for free. I’ve kayak’d before (streams and rivers) and even paddled this very boat once so I can attest to how skittish it felt compared to some of the shorter/wider options. I never thought about the heat inside the cockpit though. Might be something to take into account for sure.

just stick with it for now. For 15 years we have been paddling in the Everglades and when a north front comes through you will need fleece. Several times we have had ice in the coffeepot overnight. In the summer a SOT will suit you better.

Just run out to Halfway Creek or loop out of Everglades City out to Jewel or Rabbit Key or Sandfly Island. Plenty of places to launch out of Marco Rookery Bay is very good

Also just launching out of Collier and going out the Blackwater to the Gulf is a good workout but access requires $

Thanks for the advice. Will definitely check those spots out. In other news, I’ll probably be driving up to pick up the boat this next weekend. It’s about a 3 hours drive from me in Orlando, FL. You have any advice as to mounting this thing properly on my truck? I have a BajaRack roofrack on an FJ Cruiser. I was thinking about getting a set of Ikuram Kayak mounts for it and then using bow/stern straps.